Tldr; We signed a one year lease 8 days ago. Just found out today there was a grizzly murder/suicide that took place about two weeks before that. What are my options?
First, let me say what an awfully sad event and I am so sorry to the families involved, and have a lot of empathy for the landlord who now needs to deal with this stigma.
We have furiously been trying to find a rental property for about three months. In my market, as with many others, supply is limited, demand is high, and competition is prevalent. If you are not the first to apply and then quickly be ready to sign after your application has passed, you stand no chance. Needless to say, we were moving fast.
A new listing appeared and I quickly called the contact, completed the application process that night and was ready to sign the next day. This was after several close, yet failed experiences with other properties, so we were relieved to be the first to contact and wanted to move extremely quickly to avoid losing yet another opportunity.
We signed the lease, paid the security deposit shortly after. Today (8 days after signing), my mother called to inform me she had googled our address, and discovered it was the scene of a murder/suicide that took place roughly three weeks ago. Let me say – we also searched the property and didn’t see anything on the first page of results. Note to self to dig a little deeper next time.
I’m in a state, like most others, which doesn’t require a landlord to disclose any stigma information unless it has an impact on structural damage. I am assuming carpets have been replaced, etc so no structural damage.
Upon learning and informing my wife, I quickly realized it was not a possibility for us to continue to make plans to move into this property.
With a lease signed, a security deposit paid, and no letter of the law broken, what are my options for broaching a severance of lease with this landlord?